Facebook Sticks It To the Engineers

May 24, 2020 engineering corporations facebook [engineering]

Hacker News has featured several articles over the last few days about Facebook encouraging remote work and setting salaries to match cost of living to the areas the engineers stay in.

The top comments are full of posters that aren’t happy about this. They’re losing out the opportunity to perform geo-arbitrage by living in a cheap location while enjoying high Silicon Valley salaries. I laughed at the mental gymnastics used to justify this arbitrage. The posters act like they deserve their high salaries and think the money is in no way tied to the cost of living or supply of workers.

As I’ve said in the past, corporations do not value engineers. Engineers are an expense. Expenses are to be reduced. Why should a corporation pay Silicon Valley salaries to a person living in Mexico or another cheap location? Instead of paying American salaries, why not hire a Mexican worker who’d be happy to work for a prestigious company for likely above normal wages for the area? This is normal. My corporation actively moves jobs to Mexico and other countries and explicitly refers them to as “low-cost geos”.

The posters seem to think their skills are unique. Sorry folks. Software is nothing special if someone can attend a bootcamp and do your job. Mexicans and other non-Americans are just as or even smarter than you. You are only better because they didn’t win the privilege lottery of living in the United States. There is nothing in being Mexican that makes them intellectually inferior to an American. lol.